Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: An Inheritance of Ashes

Publish November 6, 2015

A post-apocalyptic love story in the realm of gods and monsters, An Inheritance of Ashes, the latest fantasy novel by Leah Bobet,is a story about abandonment, the desire to belong, and the strength it takes to stay. Eight years ago, Hal’s uncle abandoned the family farm, leaving eight-year-old Hal and her older sister Marthe alone with their abusive brute of a father. When Marthe finally married, she and her husband Thom made the first real home that Hal had ever known. But then Thom went south, to fight a war that nobody understood against a wicked god nobody knew how to destroy. He never returned. Now sixteen, Hal and her pregnant sister struggle to survive on their land, isolated by a years-old feud with their neighbouring town. When a ragged soldier arrives, Hal grudgingly offers him room and board in exchange for his labour. The soldier has secrets, and his presence is accompanied by smoldering Twisted Things. Soon after, Thom’s apparition appears, ethereal, yet somehow able to communicate with his family. Thom’s passage between two worlds might help to explain the mystery surrounding the war’s sudden end. But saving their community from the plague of Twisted Things has a consequence that Hal is not prepared to accept: it will destroy her family’s land and sever their last connection, however tenuous, with her missing brother-in-law. Bobet’s mythic war is described in the domestic details of a farm on its fringes. Her story unfurls gradually, its layers of tragic past told quietly, like an afterthought. Poetic imagery evokes a world so richly imagined that its most incredible features – spontaneously appearing mutants, a destructive god, and a rift between parallel dimensions – seem possible, and even occasionally, unremarkable. A modern day fairytale, An Inheritance of Ashes explores the unfathomable force of love and its power to destroy, or to hold fast across alternate universes.

An Inheritance of Ashes

Leah Bohbet
Scholastic Canada Inc.
ISBN 13: 978-0-544-28111-0

Karen Doerksen
Karen Doerksen Karen Doerksen lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta with her husband and four children. She works for the Edmonton Public Library, and holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta.  

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